New rules hold assessors liable
Professionals who conduct environmental impact assessments will have to take more responsibility for their work, under a professional qualification system that kicks in Thursday.
Both officials designing the system and experts on environmental impact assessment hope the new standard will bring more order to the environmental impact assessment market and help ensure that various projects can meet environmental requirements.
New construction projects and development plans have to provide environmental impact assessments to show pollution levels will be maintained within acceptable levels and damage to the environment minimized.
The professional qualification system for environmental impact assessment engineers was introduced jointly by the Ministry of Personnel and the State Environmental Protection Administration.
As of today, people can apply to take the qualification examination, which is to be held in the second season next year, said Li Zhonghua, an official with the management department for environmental impact assessment under the administration.
The examination will be held once every year.
People with related educational background and work experience are qualified to take part in the exam.
After passing the exam, they can get a qualification certificate.
But Li said the certificate is not lifelong and regular tests for holders will be held.
"The implementation of the system is a step forward for environmental impact assessment in China," said Shu Jianmin, director of the environmental impact assessment centre under the Chinese Academy of Environmental Sciences.
With the new system, it will be easier to hold environmental impact assessment engineers accountable for their work.